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Michigan Apples – Enjoy the Sweetness!

Contact: Holly Whetstone
(800) 456-2753

(DeWitt, Mich.) – Michigan Apples are expected to be sweeter and tastier than ever this fall, according to the Michigan Apple Committee, the market development organization that represents Michigan's 950 family-run apple orchards.

The weather is being credited for the extra flavor boost. This summer's warm temperatures coupled with moderate rainfall typically makes for sweeter than average apples.

“We are anticipating this year's apple crop to be particularly pleasing due to heightened flavor content,” said Denise Yockey, executive director of the Michigan Apple Committee. “Our growers have a fine tradition of growing great-tasting apples, and this year will certainly be no exception.”

While the apples overall appear to be in excellent condition, the Golden Delicious promises to be one of this year's standouts due to its stellar early-season appearance. Growers are predicting a banner year for this widely popular yellow-skinned variety, harvested in early September and known for its gingery-smooth taste.

Another favorite promises to be the Honeycrisp, an excellent fresh-eating apple known for its crispy bite and honey-like taste. One of the newest additions to the Michigan apple lineup, this variety is so popular it typically is no longer available after mid-November.

One of the nation's top three apple-producing states, Michigan grows 22 varieties of apples on a commercial basis. Harvest begins in mid-August with the eagerly awaited Paula Red and Ginger Gold. September brings such perennial favorites as Gala, McIntosh and Red Delicious, with October wrapping up the harvest with such versatile classics as the Rome, Ida Red and Braeburn.

By season's end, Michigan's apple growers and their migrant workforce expect to hand-pick an estimated 840 million pounds of apples. Yockey said she encourages consumers to make a conscious effort to seek out Michigan apples.

“By purchasing locally-grown apples, consumers are not only getting the freshest apples available, they are supporting the hard work of our growers and helping to support the state's second leading industry – agriculture,” said Yockey. “It makes perfect sense for Michigan residents to buy Michigan produce, especially when the quality is high.”

Michigan apples should be available at all Michigan retail stores and farm markets by late August and continuously sold through June. While the apples are available nearly year-round, fall is the optimal time to sample the many varieties available. A popular tradition for many Michigan families is an excursion to a local apple orchard, which offer something for everyone.

For a list of farm markets in your region – or to see photos and descriptions of Michigan's most popular apple varieties – visit MichiganApples.com or contact the Michigan Department of Agriculture for a copy of the 2006-2007 Farm Market, U-Pick and Ag Tourism Directory.

The Michigan Apple Committee is a grower-funded nonprofit organization devoted to promotion, education and research activities to distinguish the Michigan apple and encourage its consumption by consumers in Michigan and around the world. For more information and recipes, visit MichiganApples.com.